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"Atmel has developed the new series of SAMA5D3 MPUs using a 65nm low-power process technology to deliver up to 850DMIPS at 536MHz while offering 1328MB/s at 166MHz bus speed. The floating point unit (FPU) also provides additional high-precision processing power for image, audio and sensor data. The SAMA5D3 series delivers market-leading low-power consumption under 200mW in active mode at maximum speed and below 0.5mW in low-power mode when retaining context and offering fast wake-up. All these features make the SAMA5 series ideal for high-performance industrial applications requiring high-precision computing and low power, including interfaces, control panels, networking, gateways, programmable logic controllers, barcode scanners or printers, terminals and battery-operated applications."
Looks like Atmel is back in the game of Cortex-M4 world domination with the release of SAM4L family.
However, they might have spent a bit more time thinking about the terminology. Here are couple of our suggestions: "The Peripheral Event System" call it PESky, picoPower let''s not be shy about is picoPOWER! SleepWalking we simply give up on this one, why would anyone wanted to use MCU which is sleepwalking!? To illustrate the point we will use selective quote technique, because it is "eliminating unneeded, power-consuming CPU", not a bad idea, PESky peripherals rule! And finally the family name, c'mon why pass on such a grand opportunity to use the number 4, call it SAM4YOU or SAM4ALLOFUS.
Terminology notwithstanding the tech in this chip looks very promising.
Press release web page link
"The Peripheral Event System is a real-time network that allows peripherals to communicate directly with one another without using the central processing unit (CPU). In addition, SleepWalking technology allows a peripheral to qualify and evaluate incoming data without the use of the CPU, eliminating unneeded, power-consuming CPU wake-ups to conserve power. This allows the peripherals to qualify an event and decide to wake-up whether it is from capacitive touch, I2C address match or an ADC threshold. The SAM4L devices feature peripherals designed to reduce the overall power consumption such as the innovative LCD controller that include ASCII character mapping, hardware scrolling and blinking support. "
"With 2MB of embedded Flash, the SAM4SD32 is the ideal device for industrial and consumer applications requiring increased program memory, data storage and low power consumption. Such applications include wireless thermostats, GPS sport watches, smart meters and 1D bar code readers. Wired and wireless communication stacks, multi-language and multi-applications support, and data logging requirements are driving the need for higher memory densities in these applications.
Atmel's SAM4SD32 runs at a high-performance 120MHz operating frequency and features cache memory for accelerated code execution out of Flash. In addition, the Cortex-M4 processor-based device integrates code protection features, 160KB of SRAM and dual-bank Flash for safe in-field firmware upgrades. The SAM4SD32 will be available in a new smaller VFBGA100 7x7mm package option."
Atmel enters the CM4 based MCU maket with the SAM4S series. Some interesting features of the new series include code protection using unique 128-bit ID and scrambled external bus interface, as well as native support for Atmel's QTouch®.
"SAM4S Series Summary" - PDF document link
– ARM® Cortex®-M4 running at up to 120 MHz
– Memory Protection Unit (MPU)
– DSP Instruction Set
– Thumb®-2 instruction set
• Pin-to-pin compatible with SAM3N, SAM3S products (48-, 64- and 100- pin versions) and SAM7S legacy products (64-pin version)
– Up to 1024 Kbytes embedded Flash
– Up to 128 Kbytes embedded SRAM
– 16 Kbytes ROM with embedded boot loader routines (UART, USB) and IAP routines
– 8-bit Static MemoryController (SMC): SRAM, PSRAM, NOR and NAND Flash support
The first chip will be the SAM4S16 with:
SAM4S16 - web page link
"The Atmel SAM3S16 Cortex-M3 MCU is a member of the Atmel ARM-based family of over 100 products shipping in volume. The new device is pin-to-pin compatible with existing Atmel SAM3N and SAM3S Cortex-M3 MCUs, and also supports In System Programming and development tools from Atmel and third party ecosystem partners. The device operates at a maximum speed of 100MHz with 1024KB Flash and 128KB SRAM and includes a full peripheral set, featuring full-speed USB, high-speed MCI for SDIO/SD/MMC, 4 UART, TWIs, SPI, I2S and an external bus interface supporting PSRAM, NOR Flash, LCD Modules and NAND Flash."
Press release web page link
• Execute application binary from external SDRAM
• Place and execute single function in external SDRAM
• Place and execute ISR in external SDRAM
• Place variables in external memory
• Timing analysis for code execution in on-chip flash and external SDRAM
Many embedded applications incorporate external random access memory (RAM) for storing large amount of data, such as bitmap files. Similarly, many operating system-based applications need to execute the code from RAM where on-chip static random access memory (SRAM) may not be sufficient enough. Such requirements demand code execution from external RAM. To execute code from external memory, the microcontroller requires architectural support. Atmel® AVR®32 UC3A and UC3C series devices provide this feature.
This application note provides a way to execute an application binary from external synchronous dynamic random access memory (SDRAM) interfaced to UC3 devices over the external bus interface (EBI). Also, it illustrates how a single function or an interrupt service routine (ISR) can be placed and executed in external SDRAM. The document explains how to generate the binary files and copy them into external SDRAM, as well as make linker script modifications, and details the execution time comparison."
Atmel releases SAM3N series of Cortex-M3 based 32-bit microcontrollers
"The Atmel SAM3N and SAM3S series are the first ARM-based microcontrollers that offer capacitive touch support for buttons, sliders and wheels with the Atmel QTouchÂ® library and studio to deploy modern-user interfaces. The new series offers an extended supply range from 1.62 to 3.6V to enable a true 1.8V operation and 0.86mW per megahertz in active mode. The lower power consumption can also be reduced to 1.9uA in 1.8V standby mode with RTC (real-time clock) running."